Mountain Kingdom Tour V3
13th – 20th April 2024

R 18,900

for 1 vehicle – 2 persons

(more price options below)

13th – 20th April 2024

V2 alternative tour option: 3rd – 10th April 2024

Join us for this fantastic 7 day / 8 night journey of adventure, amazing passes, camaraderie, cultural experiences as well as visiting the Maletsunyane Waterfall and a full tour of the Katse Dam.

Our specialized guide for this tour is one of the most knowledgeable experts on Lesotho and all its hidden gems. We’ll take you up the Sani Pass and explore Lesotho whilst overnighting in comfortable overnight accommodation, deliciously good food and camaraderie — these all combine to make for an unforgettable exploration into the remote parts of Lesotho — within the safety of an expert-guided group of like-minded travellers with Mountain Passes South Africa founder, Trygve Roberts and Lesotho expert, Philip Rawlins.

  • You do not need to be experienced in 4×4 off-road driving to do this tour. We will show you how.
  • We can only take 4×4 vehicles (with low range) on this tour.
  • Tour price excludes accommodation & meals (see details below)
  • You and your passenger(s) will need a valid passport

More info below.

First select only the number of adults in your vehicle, to calculate your tour price:

Number of children under 18
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SKU: MPSA-MKT24V3 Category: Tag:

The Lesotho Mountain Kingdom Tour has been designed to provide a perfect blend of stunning scenery, fascinating local culture, staggeringly beautiful waterfalls, the biggest dams and at least 16 exciting, high altitude mountain passes, including the international award winning Mafika Lisiu pass.

Lesotho Mountain Kingdom 4×4 Tour V3 Itinerary

Day Zero: Saturday, 13rd April 2024
The group will meet on the afternoon of Saturday, 13th April, 2024 at Resthaven Guest House in Matatiele for radio fitment, happy hour and the driver briefing. After which we will enjoy a hearty dinner.

Photo: Resthaven Guest House, Matatiele. Our start and end venue.
Photo: Resthaven Guest House, Matatiele. Our start and end venue.

Day 1: Sunday, 14th April
Distance: 280 km

Starting in Matatiele, the tour kicks off with an easy drive, on a mix of tar and gravel to the KZN town of Underberg, from where we head directly to the foot of the Sani Pass. The pass has been improved and tarred up to the SA Border Control Point. We will get our passports stamped here and deflate our tyres for the main ascent.

Sani Pass requires plenty of concentration. We will talk you up the pass over the radios, offering advice about gearing, speed and driving lines, as we climb up to the 2867m high summit, where we will check in at Lesotho Customs, then pop in for some refreshment at the highest pub in Africa.

Photo: Sani Pass – on everyone’s bucket list
Photo: Sani Pass – on everyone’s bucket list

Our destination for the first night in Lesotho is the Oxbow Lodge. Getting there is a journey in itself as we will first traverse the Black Mountain Pass (Kotisephola Pass) which summits at 3244m ASL

This is followed by the Pass of Guns (Khalo La Lithunya), Tlaene Pass, and Mahlasela Pass where the lodge is located on the eastern end of the Moteng Pass, on the banks of the Malibamatsoe River. The road is tarred all the way, and takes the traveller through some of the most breath-taking scenery in Southern Africa. Space and peace is what you will find when you treat yourself to the natural splendour of this remote lodge.

Note: Because of the high altitudes, your vehicle will have less power and you will consequently use more fuel for the same speed. Make allowance for this when calculating your fuel range.

Day 2: Monday 15th April
Distance: 215 km

Our first pass of the day is the Moteng Pass which summits at 2820m and is often the scene of road closures in the snowy months. This major pass is located between the town of Buthe Butha in the west and the Afriski Resort in the north in the northern quartile of Lesotho. It has a huge altitude gain of 896m that stretches over a distance of 15.3 km which converts into an average gradient of 1:17, but don’t be fooled by that figure as it includes the descent. Most of the ascent from the western approach is between 1:5 and 1:8. It is imperative to descend these big passes using engine compression to avoid brakes overheating and possibly failing. Don’t worry. We’ll talk you through the process at the appropriate time.

The 91 bends, corners and curves will require your full concentration. Amongst those there are 4 extreme hairpin bends and one full horseshoe. The A1 road is the major route across the northern sector of Lesotho and as such carries a fair volume of traffic including some very large trucks. These need the full width of the road to negotiate the hairpin bends, so be fully aware of this as you proceed along this pass.

Naleli Guest House
Photo: Naleli Guest House, Hlotse, Leribe

We pass through the town of Buthe Butha and head for Hlotse for our overnight venue – Naleli Guest House. A tranquil Cape Dutch homestead.

Day 3: Tuesday 16th April
Distance 180 km

Photo: Moteng Pass – A high altitude pass with some dizzying hairpins
Photo: Moteng Pass – A high altitude pass with some dizzying hairpins

We head off to the village of Hlotsi, then tackle the award winning Mafika Lisiu Pass, followed by the Nkoabee Pass, before arriving at the main attraction of the day – the Katse Dam. We will do a 40 minute tour of the dam which includes going down into the wall itself to marvel at the engineering.

There will be plenty of time for photography and videography, but note no photography is allowed inside the dam wall.

Photo: Katse Dam – An integral part of the Lesotho-Highlands Water Project
Photo: Katse Dam – An integral part of the Lesotho-Highlands Water Project

After Katse tour we deflate tyres as we do a 60km rough dirt road.

Day 4: Wednesday, 17th April
Travel distance: 230 km

Another action packed day filled with stunning passes which include Mokhoabong and Cheche’s passes, after which we stop in for a look at the Mohale Dam. This is a feeder dam for the Katse and boasts being the largest concrete faced, rock walled dam in Africa.

Photo: Mohale Dam
Photo: Mohale Dam

This is followed by another three passes – Likalaneng, God Help Me and Bushmens passes. We will visit the Khome Caves and experience a cultural tour at Thaba Bosiu, which is also our overnight destination.

Thaba Bosiu Cultural Vilage
Photo: Thaba Bosiu Cultural Vilage

Khome Caves is a fascinating spot, not only because of the cave dwellings but the remarkable history when cannibalism was practiced in this area. Our local guide will tell all.

Photo: Khome Cave
Photo: Khome Cave

Day 5: Thursday, 18th April
Travel distance: 100km

We leave Thaba Bosiu and travel through the town of Roma the home of Lesotho National University and situated below stunning sandstone cliffs and rock formations until we reach the gravel road to Malealea Lodge.

Photo: Botsoela Waterfall
Photo: Botsoela Waterfall

We will enjoy a lovely day of gravel road driving via the Botsoela Pass to visit the twin falls of Botsoela and our overnight venue which is the lovely Malealea Lodge, set in a lush valley with many trees. This road requires some quite challenging driving in low range.

Photo: Malealea
Photo: Pony trekking near Botsoela Pass
Photo: Pony trekking near Botsoela Pass

Day 6: Friday, 19th April
Distance: 200 km

Highlight of the day is a visit to the Maletsunyane Waterfall with a straight drop of 198m. To get there we first drive two big passes – Gates of Paradise and Makhaleng passes.

Photo: Maletsunyane Waterfall (198m)
Photo: Maletsunyane Waterfall (198m)

We finish at the village of Semongkong where we will enjoy another Basotho cultural experience which is fabulously interesting. The Blanket Talk.

Our overnight venue is the Semonkong Lodge with its thatched rondavels set along the banks of the river. Semonkong translates into Place of Smoke – with reference to the spray and mist from the Maletsunyane waterfall.

Photo: Rondavel interior at Semongkong Lodge
Photo: Rondavel interior at Semongkong Lodge

Day 7: Saturday, 20th April
Distance : 230 km

We bid Semonkong farewell as we follow the canyon carved out by the Senqu River and stop near the mission station of Christ the King to enjoy the huge horseshoe bend in the river. No photo can do this scene justice.

Photo: Horseshoe bend in the Senqu River / Philip Rawlins
Photo: Horseshoe bend in the Senqu River / Philip Rawlins

Our route heads towards the border post at Rama’s Gate via the Tsoelike Pass with its old suspension bridge built by German missionaries. Once through the border we descend to Matatiele via Ramatseliso’s Pass.

Our final night will be back where we started at Resthaven for our end of tour festivities and customary Chappies awards.

Day 8: Sunday, 21st April (optional)

Optional: One day trip to the Sehlabathebe National Park, which includes a 5km (each way) walk, which requires moderate fitness, guided by Philip Rawlins.

This will be an extra payable individually, and directly to Philip.

For the not-so-fit, its ‘Home Jerome’ after breakfast.


Our routes are always bespoke and you will be guaranteed the trip of a lifetime, packed with facts, cultural, folklore, history and geology snippets – all of it done in a safe, responsible manner.


  • Total tour distance: 1500km
  • Drivers briefing, VHF radio fitment & welcoming party: From 1600, 13th April 2024
  • Start: Matatiele – 08h00, 14th April 2024
  • Closing function & prize-giving: 18h00, 20th April
  • Departure and end of tour: 09h30, 21st April
  • All vehicles will be supplied with crystal-clear FM marine-quality two-way radios so we can communicate with you. (This is included in the tour price)
  • All participants must have valid passports with a minimum of 6 months before expiry


  • 4×4 only – with low range and ample ground clearance
  • Maximum of 12 vehicles on this tour


  • Cost of accommodation, meals, drinks for your own account.
  • We take care of all the bookings
  • MPSA will invoice you for your accommodation/meals about 3 weeks ahead of the tour.
  • Work on R1350 per person, per day (sharing), incl. two meals per day. All the accommodation is 3 to 4 star rated or higher. Single supplement rates apply if you’re driving alone. (Usually about 60% of the double rate)
  • Our lunch breaks are held wherever we can find a nice spot to stop (usually somewhere shady and scenic). Lunches are light and we suggest packing easy to travel foods like crackers, cheese wedges, dried and fresh fruit and a flask of tea or coffee in the car is great to have with on these tours.
  • We have a zero alcohol policy during the day whilst driving.
  • Note : No pets allowed.

Please note that accommodation & meal prices above are approximate. We usually come out lower than the stated amount.

Tour price (excluding accommodation and meals):

1 Vehicle/1 Person R17,900
1 Vehicle/2 People R18,900
1 Vehicle/3 People R19,900
1 Vehicle/4 People R20,900

Tour price is calculated on number of adults (over 18) per vehicle. Children under 18 go free.

What is included in the price:

The price of the tour includes guiding, pamphlets, maps, name tags, radio hire, standard recovery costs, administration and documentation, but excludes accommodation & food.

Recovery costs do not include mechanical breakdown, lowbed recovery, but does include towing out of a difficult situation or kinetic recoveries, winching and assistance with punctures.

Mountain Passes South Africa (MPSA) arranges every last detail. We send you a packing list of what you need well before the tour. All you have to do is arrive with your ‘padkos’ and snacks and enjoy the tour.


If you cancel more than 60 days ahead of the tour:
* If you are able to resell your place to a friend or family member = 100% refund or 100% credit voucher.
* If we resell your ticket on your behalf = 80% refund or 100% credit voucher

If you cancel between 60 and 30 days before the tour:
* If you are able to resell your place to a friend or family member = 100% refund or 100% credit voucher.
* If we resell your ticket on your behalf = 70% refund or 90% credit voucher

If you cancel less than 30 days before the tour:
* If you are able to resell your place to a friend or family member = 100% refund or 100% credit voucher.
* If we resell your ticket on your behalf = 60% refund or 80% credit voucher

Accommodation & meal refunds:

Invoices are generally sent out between 4 and 6 weeks ahead of the tour start date.
* If you have already received your invoice, you are liable for it, subject to us interacting with the various venues to get you a refund. We pay the venues up front for your accommodation. Most of the establishments are reasonable and offer a full or partial refund, depending on how close to the booking date the cancellation occurs. Whatever we can negotiate will be credited to you in full.

Please get in touch with us directly with any questions you may have by email:

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During your first purchase, your account will be auto-created, using the email address you supply at checkout.


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